David Stojcevksi, 32, was a Michigan resident undergoing drug addiction treatment when he was sentenced to 30 days in the Macomb County Jail in June 2014 for not showing up to a traffic court hearing for $772 in unpaid fines.
He had been ticketed for careless driving, according to a federal lawsuit filed by his family in March against the jail and its health care contractor, Correct Care Solutions. On Tuesday, the FBI announced that it was conducting a civil review of Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham's investigation of Stojcevksi's death.
During his 16 days in jail, Stojcevski suffered from serious drug withdrawals that resulted in his death, according to an autopsy report. Corrections and medical staff failed to continue his drug treatment, according to the complaint, and Stojcevski was held in a mental health unit cell where he had to be naked under a smock at all times. While he was jailed, he lost 50 pounds, hallucinated, and at times apparently writhed in agony on the floor.
BuzzFeed News obtained 240 hours of footage of Stojcevski's time in the jail. Below is a short video of his final hours, followed by a timeline of screenshots depicting Stojcevski's final 10 hours alive on June 27. WARNING: This video is graphic.
The 240 hours of footage of Stojcevski leading up to his death show a man slowly succumbing to withdrawals, experts said.
During his first day in the mental health cell, he gets a plate of food around 4:19 p.m. in a Styrofoam take-out container. He doesn't eat it.
He fiddles with his smock and eventually uses as a blanket. He lies on a mat on the floor and closes his eyes. That evening, a corrections officer and two people dressed in nurse smocks come in to check his blood pressure and then leave the cell after 10 minutes.
The rest of the days he spends lying still on the floor or curled on the bottom bunk of the cell. He seems to barely eat, and at times the video does not show a Styrofoam container of food at all.
By June 25 he is breathing heavily and twitching. He stares at the ceiling in a seemingly catatonic state.
At 6:55 p.m., Stojcevski was pronounced dead at McLaren Regional Hospital, according to the lawsuit. The autopsy report diagnosed the cause of death as "acute withdrawal from chronic benzodiazepine, methadone, opiate medications, dehydration with hypernatremia, and seizure/seizure-like activity."
Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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